Tracking On-Surface Chemistry with Atomic PrecisionWe gratefully acknowledge funding by a NWO Graduate program and the Sector Plan Chemistry and Physics.
Received: 02 June 2017
Accepted after revision: 14 July 2017
17 August 2017 (eFirst)
The field of on-surface synthesis has seen a tremendous development in the past decade as an exciting new methodology towards atomically well-defined nanostructures. A strong driving force in this respect is its inherent compatibility with scanning probe techniques, which allows one to ‘view’ the reactants and products at the single-molecule level. In this article, we review the ability of noncontact atomic force microscopy to study on-surface chemical reactions with atomic precision. We highlight recent advances in using noncontact atomic force microscopy to obtain mechanistic insight into reactions and focus on the recently elaborated mechanisms in the formation of different types of graphene nanoribbons.